Love in Lockdown

🎵So keep ya love lockdown, ya love lockdown 🎵
Ok, this may not be the time to quote Kanye but it would have been an opportunity missed.
At a time when we’re being told to keep away from one another, just how are emotional connections to be found? Admittedly, it’s a strange time for everyone. No longer can you pop out for a cheeky post work mojito and potentially bump into a hottie. The likelihood is, popping to your local supermarket (the only place you can actually go) will lead to nothing more than realising there is a basic essential shortage - hello, where is the chocolate milk?! You’ll probably leave with less than you bargained for and potentially a little annoyed. Hardly the circumstances for a blossoming romance.
However, lockdown brings us new opportunities. Online dating is often time consuming but with the many hours we spend commuting, gymming, holidaying and socialising now freed up, we have more time to dedicate to looking for a lover in lockdown. Dating app Bumble reports a 21% increase in messaging, especially longer and more detailed messaging. This shows that people are taking the time to engage in more meaningful conversations instead of the “how r u?” chat which can make online dating unbearable. Could lockdown be leading to stronger relationships based on more meaningful early talking stages? 
Quarantining with a partner also comes with challenges. Often when you live with your partner, putting aside an evening or two for quality time can be hard. But what happens when too much quality time is forced upon you? The first few days can be delicious - snoozing until 9am, eating breakfast together and more time for spooning (and forking). However a week later the glistening promise of quality time can start to be unappealing, particularly if you’re both working in the house all day and you suddenly find out your partner uses the worst business buzz words at work. Divorce rates in China have spiked recently and lawyers in the UK say that self-isolation could lead to a rise in divorce. However, fear not! Being the optimists that we are, we've compiled our tips for love in lockdown! 

Single lovers in lockdown 

Miss Rona may have cancelled a lot of things, but your love life doesn’t have to be one of them.

Swipe right more often

Tinder’s message for app users is "Social distancing doesn't have to mean disconnecting”. This crisis is definitely making everybody see just how much they value human connection.  Stop closing doors to what could be great chit chat and swipe right more. Use this time to properly vet your candidates.  Wave off unnecessary small talk and get to know what your suitor's wishes, plans and desires are. If things progress, set up a Skype date and if your Skype call is dead… it's bu-bye with the click of a button. Use this time to slow down, and discover if your usual type is really what you need. 
  
    
First dates are still on. You can still wine and dine (minus the 69) in lock down. Just because you can’t get to your nearest rustic Sourdough pizza restaurant doesn’t mean you can’t do the usual dating scenario. Choose a meal to cook over a Skype call, listen to the same playlist, do some deep and meaningful questions cards together and obviously share a bottle of wine (each). You can even pester him with questions throughout a whole film in real time using new app Netflix Party where you can interact whilst you watch. Take inpso from  @nina_future and add an element of surprise by taking it in turns to choose the meal and the film.  
 

Get to really know each other  

If you were already seeing someone before lockdown, chances are sexual tension has already started to build. "When will I next be touched?" you may be thinking, "can I even remember what a peen looks like?". Imagine when you actually get to see each other. If you’re both comfortable with sexting then get to it. If it's a relatively new partner test the waters with a risky 'what would you do if you were with me right now?'. You can use this extra time and physical distance to explore each other sexually. Talk about what you like and dislike, show them how you like to use your favourite toy on FaceTime and discuss your wildest fantasies so that when it gets to it, it could be your hottest experience yet. 
  

Open your eyes

  
In the voice of Paddy McGuiness: Single hot neighbours, reveal yourselves! We love this viral video 'A Story About a Quarantined Cutie'. Now we're not suggesting that you buy an inflatable force field to roll around your neighbourhood in, or that you flash your neighbours. We're just sayin' keep an eye out on your statutory stroll, you never know who might be local.
  

Couples in quarantine

Use this time to do some things you usually wouldn’t do as a couple. Date night doesn’t have to be dead!  

Movie night isn’t cancelled 

  
So, you can’t get to your local Cineworld but you can create your own cinema experience. Dim the lights, get some popcorn and (*insert other tasty treats here*), choose a film and you’re good to go. Heck, our local One Stop even has a Fanta Frozen machine. Having something to look forward to in the evenings can definitely brighten your day. Switch off your phones and make a commitment to be 'just the two of you' for the night.
  

Cook a meal together

  
If this isn’t something you usually do together, now is a good time to find out if your partner is a dreadful cook and who likes to take charge. If one of you is already a confident cook, make an event of dinner and have a three course candle lit meal lady and the tramp style. If you're stuck for inspo why not try and recreate your favourite takeaway (that's  chicken satay skewers for us!) or go on 'holiday' for the night - did someone say Mexican? Follow Newt7 for easy-to-make recipes that have a wow factor when served. Preparation time, wine and an assortment of snacks are a must. Lay the table, and make a cute sitch out of it.
  

Host a wine tasting  

  
  
If you're missing planning parties, events or family gatherings, then hosting a wine tasting could be right up your street. Order in a variety of wines, taking note of where the wine is produced, the price of the bottle and the percentage of the wine. If you want to cheat Vivino is great for giving you info, you can input wine you already have in the house! Prepare the glasses of wine and ask your partner to guess which is the most expensive, where they think it was produced and whether they are getting subtle notes of barberry or it just smells like wine. Pair this with some snacks and the Call Me By Your Name soundtrack and you have your very own sophisticated wine tasting in the comfort of your own home. 
  

Swap massages

  
   
Your favourite spa is shut so why not order in some massage oils and have a crack at it yourselves? (See our fave oils here: Espa, Lovehoney, Ann Summers and John Lewis). Not only does a message relieve stress (which quite honestly, we totes need right now) it also helps with muscle tension pain when those home workouts start to take their toll. It goes without saying that 'let swap massages' is code for 'let's get it on' - who doesn't love being touched slowly and feeling your partner's hands slippin’ and slidin’ all over your body. Set a 'no funny business' massage timer and see how long you can last for without getting frisky for added tension and build up. Putting on some relaxing music *hello Drake playlist* and taking some time out to make each other feel good could be exactly what you need.  Even though the world seems to be heading into a condom shortage, do not worry - WooWoo have you covered. Our Protect It! range is ready to go.
  
   
    

Sexting from your desk  

  
If you’re lucky enough to live in a house where you can both work in separate rooms then sexting could spice things up for you. Lockdown but make it sexy. Build up some sexual tension whilst you’re getting your work tasks done. Send a saucy email or an Outlook calendar invite titled 'My room. Right now'. You may be lounging about in your comfies, but you can still get each other hot under the collar. 
  

Walk it out & talk it out

  
  
When you both inevitably get cabin fever remember that you’re probably getting overly annoyed with each other due to the circumstances. If you’re not showing any symptoms then go out for some fresh air. Get lost in your neighbourhood and discover roads you've never taken before. We've spoken before about how exercising can get the blood flowing in all the right places and get you in the mood for a post work out work out if you know what we mean. When you get home you can discuss what's upsetting you with a fresh mind. Communication is always key. 
  
 
If you have any questions regarding sex and coronavirus, here’s a helpful resource. More importantly, If your isolating has turned into isodating, please let us know how it pans out! Keep a distance. Wash your hands. Stay sassy.

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